Drug violations on the rise for Ohio State Highway Patrol

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Since January, troopers at the Ohio State Highway Patrol have seen more drug violations than during the entire 2016 year.

There have been 91 minor misdemeanor drug arrests and 36 felony arrests between January 1st and July 17th, according to the latest state highway patrol statistics for Washington and Morgan counties.

Across Ohio, drug crimes and arrests are up 12 percent from 2016, as are some felonies, according to the State Highway Patrol.

Marietta Post Commander, Lt. Richard Chesar, says “most people think troopers write nothing but speeding tickets but in reality we are working to save lives by enforcing the criminal element as well. As you've heard before we can’t arrest our way out of this problem, we try to use local agencies as resources for those people that are having problems with their addictions to try to get them help. Not just enforce the law, send them to be court and be done, we are trying to give these people help if they need it.”

Statewide, troopers had made 8,399 drug arrests as of June, a 30 percent rise over the previous three-year average from 2014 to 2016.